The White Sox will hire seven scouts this offseason as the franchise refines and reshuffles its international and amateur departments.
After he spent the last 14 months assessing an international department that has produced one player over the past decade, Marco Paddy, the special assistant to the general manager in international operations, will add five new scouts.
The amateur scouting department will also add two new scouts.
While hes happy for the additional bodies in his department, amateur scouting director Doug Laumann is more pleased with the international hires. Rick Hahn last week described a department, which will add two scouts in the Dominican Republic, one in Mexico, one in Venezuela and another to cover Curacao and other areas, as bare bones.
It will kind of get us up to speed, Laumann said. I dont think its a secret we tried in the amateur department to supplement things werent getting internationally. Its what we need to do.
Over the last season Paddy -- who spent the previous five years as the director of Latin American operations for the Toronto Blue Jays -- determined what were the White Sox international issues and how to fix them.
The department has had recent success in its development of infielders Eduardo Escobar -- who was traded to the Minnesota Twins in July -- and Carlos Sanchez, along with pitcher Andre Rienzo.
But much more production is needed and with restrictions placed on international spending in the most recent collective bargaining agreement, the White Sox felt now is the time to make their move.
(Marco) has a feel for what we need, said Del Matthews, assistant director of player development and scouting. Weve had recent success, but it was definitely needed. With the new rule changes in the basic agreement it kind of made it an even playing field for everybody and it was a great opportunity for us to ramp up our efforts and hopefully well see some fruit in a couple of years.
Laumann believes international production will help the team in the amateur draft in terms of creativity. In years past, because the organization needed to add bodies the international program didnt produce, Laumann was forced to find players to fill holes instead of taking risks on higher potential draftees.
Your hands are tied going to the draft knowing you have to find that shortstop or second baseman, Laumann said. It takes away from your creativity and what you can do.
Laumann still must find one more scout for his own department after he promoted J.J. Lally to a full-time area scout. Formerly an assistant director of player development and scouting, Lally will cover the Northwest as the White Sox reduce Adam Virchis previously large territory -- one that included all of Northern California, Northern Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Canada.
Weve been spread a little thin, Laumann said. We felt like (Virchis) was spending too much time away from the Bay Area.
The team must also find an area scout for the Northeast as part of the domino effect from the promotion of Nick Hostetler, who became the assistant director of amateur scouting.
Ryan Dorsey, who previously scouted the Northeast, now covers Indiana, Michigan and Chicagoland. His position must be filled.
The two new hires gives Laumanns department 18 area scouts and 25 bodies overall.
The extra personnel can be good as long as your organization has good communication and knows how to weed through the information, Laumann said. We have a pretty good mix now.